IBM today scored a double whammy with the world?s smallest and lightest disk drive which will revolutionise the digital camera market, according to analysts.
The Microdrive has the disk platter the size of a pound coin, weighs the same as a copy disk and holds 340Mbytes of data - five times more than similar sized flash cards, and the equivalent to 340 200-page novels.
The Microdrive will be a boon for consumer devices which are demanding more and more storage, including digital cameras, digital video cameras, pocket PCs, mobile phones and car-navigation systems.
It will also open up the market to news devices, say analysts. The Microdrive for example could fit into a wrist watch and store telephone numbers and diary details accessible at the touch of a button.
One of the first markets to profit from the Microdrive?s appearance will be that of digital cameras, whose biggest hurdle has been the capacity limitations of flash memory. It is also much slower to write flash data to memory than to a drive.
Digital camera makers Canon, Hitachi and Minolta have all said they are looking at using Microdrive in their offerings.
Micro Drive is slated to appear sometime next year. Like all new technologies it will be expensive - around a $1 a Mbyte - and will only be available in leading edge products. Analysts, however, are expecting the Micro Drive to rapidly trickle down into cheaper consumer gadgets as IBM ramps up production.
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